Album Review

Lee, David Jr – “Evolution” – [Universal Sound]

Thurston Hunger   12/14/2011   12-inch, Jazz

There are a lot of great things about David Lee??Jr’s “Evolution” but the one drawback
is ironically its lack of evolution. Super session drummer, this is his only release
(1974 limited to 400 copies, reissued by Soul Jazz/Universal Sound), so now snapshot
of evolution on other releases. Even on this album, his compositions are??mere sketch-pad
enticements. The long title track is actually a composite of further tight but??sweet short
ideas. Even though he sings “I Don’t Want to Go Now” on “Love Parable”, you sense maybe
he was okay not being the focus, which is unfortunate. His tuneful playing, and working in of
chimes and vibes (long before any Chicago/Sao Paolo Underground action) leave you so
hungry for more. I checked the samples before buying and was over the moon about this,
but the samples might actually be longer than the actual tracks ;> Seriously though, he
has some nice help from Bob Cranshaw on electric bass and George Davis on guitar on
three tracks, but it does feel like a lot of effort was solo mono-tracking and stacking up
the ideas, but not finding ways to connect them. Like an artist too full of images to finish
one??painting? Still I am grateful for this window. Lee wears his New Orleans pride on his
sleeve and sticks, with tracks like “Nola Reflex” and “Second Line March.” Not quite
Purdy-licious, but definitely supernal.
New Orleans New York
Drummer second line marched up
Soul patrol short watch

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